Jeanette Winterson is an English author born on August 27, 1959 in Manchester, England. She grew up in a very religious household, but her sexual identity as a lesbian often conflicted with the values of her Church. At age 16, she decided to leave her conservative family and eventually enrolled in Accrington and Rossendale College to study creative writing. Her first published novel, Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, tells the story of a girl who defies traditional gender norms, thus mirroring Winterson’s own life as a teenager.
In 1987, Winterson published a historical-fiction novel entitled The Passion. It focuses on the tragic romance of a man and woman during the Napoleonic Wars. This is a story filled to the brim with grief, joy, love, and whimsy.
Upon its publication, The Passion received positive reviews from critics and audiences alike. Readers fell in love with the relatability of each character as well as the vivid descriptions of Venice. Publishers Weekly says it best when they describe the piece as a “tantalizing surrealistic romance between an observer of history and a creature of fantasy.”